Wahlburgers, the better burger restaurant brand founded by Chef Paul Wahlberg and celebrity brothers Mark and Donnie, announced that it will expand to Asia in 2017 through a joint venture with Cachet Hospitality Group (CHG). The first three restaurants are slated to open in Hangzhou, Wuhan, and Shanghai, China.
A celebratory event was held in Hollywood on Tuesday night to commemorate the joint venture. Wahlburgers' founders Chef Paul Wahlberg and producer/actor Mark Wahlberg were in attendance. The brothers addressed members of the press and discussed the company's expansion plans. Guests were treated to Wahlburgers' signature chef-inspired burgers and tater tots.
"We're excited about this wonderful opportunity to grow in Asia," says Wahlburgers CEO Rick Vanzura. "Having a savvy, financially strong partner is essential and we have a great partner in the Cachet Hospitality Group, which will bring an unprecedented level of service and strength to the Wahlburgers brand. Cachet is dedicated to family, community and, of course, bringing diverse groups of people together through great food—the very same values that drive Wahlburgers. Thanks to Cachet, we already have our first confirmed restaurant projects outside of North America, and we look forward to making history together."
The Cachet Hospitality Group (CHG), an international hospitality branding and management company based in Hong Kong, is well known in the region for excellence and a growing focus on social responsibility. According to CEO Alexander Mirza, "This is an excellent time to enter the Asia market, especially China, where dramatic growth in US-style destination malls with increasing space committed to restaurants as mall owners see both traffic and income rise dramatically."
"This combines perfectly with the explosive popularity of international restaurant brands in China's malls and airports, opening the door to tremendous opportunity for Wahlburgers and our Asia Pacific joint venture," says Mirza.
Based on the lure of Wahlburgers, CHG has signed major agreements with developers who have committed to including Wahlburgers restaurants in their projects. World Packaging Center, an existing CHG developer, agreed to sign the first restaurant in Hangzhou. Shanghai-based naked Hub has agreed to open 20 Wahlburgers in their office building complexes throughout Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thailand's Big Ho Corporation will open 20 Wahlburgers in its franchise location of Big C Supercenter stores throughout northern Thailand.
A third partner, the Arjomand Group, a holding company with businesses based in the Middle East and Africa regions, includes diverse industries such as real estate and manufacturing, is an investor in CHG and will add financial expertise and strength to the expansion plans.
According to the joint venture, the objective of this expansion is to open 100 restaurants in China and the surrounding region over the next five years. With two strategic partnerships in place, Wahlburgers Asia Pacific is in a strong position to achieve its goal of opening in a variety of locations, including shopping centers, theme parks, residential and office developments and hotel and resort properties.